Are you interested in seeing how real businesses use Twitter to increase their exposure and gain new clients?
So I asked a few social media firms and small business owners how Twitter has helped them grow their business and gain exposure.
The result was a few success stories along with some great tips for using Twitter that I thought I'd share with you …
The thing with Twitter is it's set-up for people to interact and have a conversation. If all you bring to the table is a discussion of how awesome you think you are, no one's going to want to sit down with you.
Twitter's the same way.
#1: Interact With People
“I've helped many small businesses adjust to using Twitter properly. That is talking with people instead of shouting about themselves. The best advice I can give is use Twitter to communicate and interact with people and they will help your company reach more people and grow.”
Mike Wolfe, WAM Enterprises LLC
#2: Engage Followers by Sharing Stories
“Recently I made a comprehensive digital marketing plan for Marissa B jewelry. I explained to her that rather than simply posting updates on twitter about what she was selling, that she should both engage more with her followers, and as well, share stories behind the products rather than just sheer selling. This soft sell approach works better in the web 2.0 world.”
Brad Hines, Social Media & Internet Analyst; BradfordHines.com & YumDomains.com
Use Twitter to Build Real World Connections
Networking is always time well spent.
Networking with the big leagues is even better.
Twitter allows you to contact people you would never be able to reach otherwise. Even President Obama has been known to use twitter and interact with real people online.
If you're afraid to reach out through email or the phone, then trying to make contact with influential people on Twitter may be a great approach.
#3: Simple Celebrity Contacts
“We advised our client GlitzyLips to use Twitter to contact Kimee Keyes, celebrity makeup artist for Katy Perry. A contact, a sample and more Twitter conversation later, GlitzyLips was on Katy Perry's lips during the premiere of the song “Part of Me” during the 2012 Grammy Awards. Later, Twitter was used to directly rebut rumors (started by competitors) that the product on Perry's lips was theirs. The campaign was, in turn, covered across the Web and in PRWeek.”
Diane Hansen, Chief Inspiration Officer, Hansen Marketing Communications
It's still all about keyphrases
Be sure to use the right phrases in your tweets. I'm really an SEO junkie so this tip makes a lot of sense to me. In SEO we always try to start with keyword research. So I'm always asking people interested in starting an SEO campaign the following:
- Does anyone care about what you're talking about?
- Does anyone search for the topic online and if so what phrases do they use to search for it?
It's exactly the same with Twitter. You can and should label what you're tweeting about…
#4: Connect with Bloggers & Media Using Hashtags
“I've found twitter helps in getting connections to content publishers (bloggers or media) looking for ideas or solutions. In that context, the #hashtag choices are all important, not how many followers you have, but who will scan for your hashtag and pick up your tweet.
I have a client we developed a tweet campaign for, and one of our earliest connections was a specialty publisher who followed our tweet to our website, liked our philosophy and approach, and arranged, (mostly via twitter) for some follow up questions, and ultimately an article in both their online and print magazine. More than a year later it's still bringing returns.”
Katherine Cleland, founder of ClelandMarketing.com
Grow an authentic community
Although it can make you look more popular, fake popularity is probably not going to translate into more revenue for you. Your best bet is to go for real followers within your Twitter account. And here's a story that gives you a reason why you may want to do this (something you may not have thought of):
#5: Identify Market Leaders
“My company manages social media for a variety of companies in the personal finance and investing real, and we have a unique way that we help to grow authentic Twitter communities. We joke that we are kind of like a crime scene clean up — only we clean up the horrible crime evidence that some social media agencies leave behind. Just what am I referring to? When some companies hire agencies to grow their Twitter following, they often end up with thousands of followers, and are often unaware that these were acquired as some part of follow-back scheme or that the accounts that follow them are mainly spam accounts or accounts for adult entertainment and gambling industries.
One of the first things we do to naturally grow Twitter communities is to clean this mess up. We unfollow anything that is part of a team followback approach. (Do you really want your successful investing clients to see that you follow someone with a link to their p*rno site in their Twitter bio?) We also work hard to identify leaders in the niche that have thoughtful Twitter feeds, and we follow THEM instead.
Yes, the number of followers may actually drop at first, but the client's reputation will improve, and, instead of thousands of followers that will never read your tweets or help anything you say be shared socially, you will have a small, more natural group of core followers who will say kind things about you and tell your friends. (As we all know, it is the natural, positive conversation that leads to higher traffic to the site and eventual conversions. And isn't that what you are using Twitter for? If it's not — you will never see an ROI on that Twitter marketing budget.)”
Linsey Knerl, Engaging Content for Online Audiences: Knerl Family Media
Engage with your audience
The best way to use Twitter is to engage with your audience. You can do this by doing special promotions on Twitter, even running live events on your Twitter account …
#6: Using Live Events to Double Sales
“I recently had a Twitter Party to build brand awareness for my client, Palm Beach Athletic Wear @PBAthleticWear. My company worked in collaboration with a Twitter Party Promotional site I have worked with in the past. They helped spread the word about the upcoming chat, and posted/shared the information on their site for free. By ghost blogging about the twitter party, syndicating the blog through onlywire.com and adding information to the E-Newsletter and various other social sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest) we had approximately 200 active twitter party goers that wanted to learn more about quality women's fitness wear!
For a small start up business that is outstanding! Captivating 200 women and learning more about their needs has been the perfect way for palmbeachathleticwear.com to grow. I was able to advise the owner of what these women wanted more of, accessories that would be a good fit for the online boutique and the types of sports they do to coincide with their athletic wear.
This twitter party has generated 20% more Twitter Followers and Palmbeachathleticwear.com's sales have nearly doubled. The ROI for a Twitter Party for my client was well worth the minimal investment.”
Donna Wallerstein, Wallerstein, Inc.
Develop a process
One thing about Twitter or any social media marketing platform for that matter that I have to admit does not appeal to me is that you have to keep posting on it. You have to keep making tweets and of course if many of them are not effective at bringing in potential customers or people who may help you spread the word about your business then you're just wasting time.
So developing a process for how to effectively use Twitter and how to minimize your time spent making tweets and replying is valuable. And there are people who've mastered this.
#7: System For Attracting Media
“I've been working for a small business with a fashion focus, www.mystylegenie.com. When I started with them a few months ago they had no Twitter traction or activity. Over the past month we've gone from almost zero to 150 followers which doesn't sound outstanding BUT I've developed for them a process in which to not only attract followers but to engage members of the fashion media.
A huge feat!”
Sarah Heekin Redfield, SavorTheSuccess.com
One final piece of advice came from Jake Hamilton, a social media marketer in Indianapolis:
… It's important to remember what people want. Or more importantly, what they don't want: fluff. Treat your audience as if they're people. That doesn't mean start discussing political warfare with them, but simply chat with them and respond in a way that engages them. I read a study earlier this year that shows almost 1/3rd of users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow.
So as you can see there are more than a few businesses using Twitter in order to help spread the word about their company. And they're using it effectively. If you have any stories of Twitter working (or even how it hasn't worked) for your brand or business, please share your thoughts below.